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CA relief package would help millions of low-income families and small businesses

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Posted at 6:47 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 00:39:08-05

A COVID-19 relief package will offer help to millions of Californians if approved.

The multi-billion-dollar relief packageis in the final approval stage.

It includes help for low-income families, immigrants, small businesses, and others.

California families who earn less than $30,000 could soon be receiving an extra $600 one-time payment.

The relief fund, announced by the governor’s office, will also provide the following:

  • Grants of $5,000 to $25,000 for small businesses, non-profits, cultural centers
  • $400 million for child care providers
  • $24 million for farmworker housing

According to the President and CEO of the Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce, Glenn Morris, this new relief grant can go a long way for many small businesses.

"You know, as we watch the evidence and do surveying it’s clear that there are a lot of businesses that are just hanging in. They are week to week about whether or not they are going to be able to continue to do it,” Morris said.

Great Scott's Pizza owner, Kazem Mashhoon, said that’s been the case for his Santa Maria business.

"These dollars are very important for us because due to the pandemic, all of the businesses are low, income is low, sales are low, usually 30-40%. That’s not even enough to pay our rent,” Mashhoon said.

About 59,000 restaurants and bars will be able to get two years of waived annual license fees and more than 600,000 barbers and hair salons will be able to continue their licensing fees for two years.

"We need the help, as I said right now we are behind the rent and many expenses and as our bills pile up, hopefully when corona is over we have people back dining in and that will be able to cover the damages,” Mashhoon said.

According to the relief plan, people who also receive help like CalWORKs, Social Security benefits, and cash assistance will also be able to receive $600 payments.

Lawmakers will vote on the package next week.